Spring 2009»CSCI 180 Homework 2

CSCI 180 Homework 2

Assigned Date: Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009
Due Date: Thursday, Feb. 19
Due Time: 9:25am

Last modified on April 07, 2009, at 11:36 AM (see updates)

This is a pair-programming assignment. You must work with a partner.

Purpose

This assignment focuses on

  • creating music with computers;
  • manipulating audio files with an editor (e.g., Audacity); and
  • mixing sounds interactively (using Scratch).

Assignment

You will create a composition in the musique concrète style:

Musique concrète (French; literally, "concrete music"), is a style of avant-garde music that relies on natural environmental sounds and other non-inherently-musical noises to create music.

Use Audacity (or an audio editor of your choice) to process audio sounds.

Use Scratch to assemble the sounds into a "music" composition.

Requirements

Modify musicConcrete.sb to add your sounds (in .WAV or .AIFF format). You should have at least six (6) different sounds, which can be played by pressing keys on the keyboard.

These sounds must include:

  1. Your voice saying something of importance.
  2. Your partner's voice saying something of importance.
  3. Include (at least) three modified sounds as follows (using Audacity, etc.):
    • reverse voice (same speed)
    • increase speed of voice (change both tempo and pitch)
    • decrease speed of voice (change both tempo and pitch)
  4. Also at least one "found" sound from the following site: http://www.findsounds.com/.

Note: Import these as separate sounds in Scratch. Do not mix them into one sound file. The mixing will be done interactively inside Scratch in real-time.

You should not include any real music. For inspiration, see this Luigi Russolo composition.

Think carefully about the ideas mentioned in the "Fundamentals of Digital Audio" reading assignment (see sections 4.7, 4.8, and 4.9). Consider various principles, such as unity & balance, proportion, narrative (beginning, middle, and end), emotion, mood, climax, foreground & background, storyline/meaning of work.

Create a drawing (sketch) of your composition (e.g., see Fig. 10, p. 203).

Bonus

To get full credit, you must meet the regular requirements above. For extra credit, you may also experiment with the following:

  • create short fragments of the above sounds (like audio puzzle/collage pieces)
  • experiment with durations of sounds (e.g., see Fibonacci numbers in nature).
    • here is a sample project that experiments with music notes and Fibonacci durations.
  • experiment with other interesting effects, e.g., increase/decrease tempo (without changing pitch), increase/decrease pitch (without changing tempo), add echo, etc.
  • add more sounds from http://www.findsounds.com/ or elsewhere.

Note: Import these as separate sounds in Scratch. Do not mix them into one sound file. The mixing will be done interactively inside Scratch in real-time.

Submission

Be thorough and systematic. Take good notes while editing the sounds. That's very important.

Submit the following:

  1. README.txt file (use Notepad, or other text editor to type it) with the following:
    1. Your full name and your partner's full name.
    2. Date, class, homework number
    3. For every sound you include in your project:
      • Its name
      • How it was acquired
        • Date it was recorded, who is in the recording, place of the recording
        • If found on the Internet, its URL
      • How it was manipulated
        • Dry (no manipulation); or
        • List the effect(s) you used to manipulate it.
  2. Your completed Scratch project.

Both should be submitted on WebCT by the due date. Also, keep your project on a memory stick (USB drive). Be prepared to demo it to the rest of the class.

Grading

Your grade will be based on how well you followed the above instructions, and the depth/quality of your work.

Again, think carefully about the ideas mentioned in the "Fundamentals of Digital Audio" reading assignment, such as unity & balance, proportion, narrative (beginning, middle, and end), emotion, mood, climax, foreground & background, storyline/meaning of work.

Relevant Quote

"Any amount of work can be done in any amount of time... only the quality varies." ~Joao Meidanis